Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Big Baby All Grown Up

The Lakers were supposed to win; Kobe making his Jordan-esce run at his second three-peat, Phil, in his twilight, going for an unparalleled eleventh.  The bench was there (Brown, Odom, Farmar), so was the second-option (Gasol), the ever-essential big time shot maker (Fisher) and finally, the shut down defender (Artest).   Yes, all the pieces were in place, and once The King’s quest for his first crown was cut unexpectedly short, many figured that the Lakers would have a cakewalk to their second straight title.

Enter:  The Boston Celtics.

They were supposed to be too old.  KG was supposedly a shell of his former self.  Doc is on the hot seat.  There was too much inner-team turmoil to truly contend for a title.   While much of the basketbalceltsl public wrote the squad off after a sub-par regular season, the Celtics maintained a focus and concentration that was  eerily reminiscent of the 08 championship team while dismissing Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard, respectively, from the post season.  Heading into tonight’s Game 6 the Celtics hold a 3-2 advantage over Kobe Bryant’s Lakers in the Finals, standing one win away from their second title in three years. 

What went wrong?  They had a defensive answer for Boston’s two best perimeter players.  They had a height advantage, and they had, of course, the best closer in the game in Kobe Bryant.   Rondo was supposed to be the only X factor.  It was very possible that he would prove to be too much to handle for Derek Fisher, but throwing a Fisher/Farmar/Brown combination at him would certainly be enough to stifle him, right?  Everyone was accounted for.

Enter: Glen “Big Baby” Davis.

Who would have ever thought that the momentum of the NBA Finals may hinge on the performance of the former LSU Tiger.  Glen Davis hasn’t always been a fan favorite and was in fact an afterthought for much of the Celtics inspired 2008 run.  Maybe it was his physique, which lends to the impression that Glen could spend significantly more time in the gym.  Or maybe it was his game, which seemed as though it wouldn’t translate well from college to the pros, andbig baby his early lack of production simply fueled this fire.  Or possible it was the seemingly ever-present look of shock and despair on his face, lending to his nickname, that annoyed fans so much.  Regardless of the reason for this initial distaste, Big Baby has altered his perception by his play in these NBA Finals.   By spearheading the Celtic bench and becoming a key ingredient in River’s recipe for success, Davis has won over fans in Boston and nation wide.  In this series he has come to represent everything basketball should be about: Hustle, determination, giving 100%, and sacrificing yourself for the greater good.  Davis is the biggest cheerleader on the bench and the hardest worker on the floor, tirelessly diving after loose balls and fighting for stray offensive rebounds.  Davis has been the consummate Celtic , providing the team with the fire and hunger necessary to win a championship; a fire and hunger that was characteristic of the 08 title team, but was largely questioned throughout this season. 

Yes, Glen provides this fire.  You can see it.  Other players feed off him, and it is becoming increasingly hard for Doc to saddle him to the bench during crunch time, knowing the importance and impact of his presence on the court.  Big Baby has grown up, and is one of the main reasons the Celtics sit one win away from the Title.



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Anonymous said...

big baby still sucks

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